History and Doctrines of the Ajivikas: A Vanished Indian Religion

History and Doctrines of the Ajivikas: A Vanished Indian Religion

Product ID: 17562

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Author: A L Basham
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass
Year: 2002
Language: English
Pages: 336
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8120812042


The book presents the history and the Doctrines of the Ajivikas who formed a third heretical sect besides the sect of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism and that of Mahavira Vardhamana, the twenty-fourth Tirthankara of the Jainas. The three heterodox sects react against the ritualistic creed of the Vedists. The cult of Ajivikas was founded by Makkhali Gosal, the contemporary of Mahavira Vardhamana, on the basis of strict determinism with a belief in the all-embracing rule of Niyati (principle of order). According to Gosal, it was Niyati which ultimately governed our action, controlled phenomena and left no room for human volition.

It will through new height on an interesting and significant aspect of India's past, and will encourage further research. This book is divided into fifteen chapters discussing elaborately different aspects of the subject matter. The comprehensive Bibliography and Index are the added features for the researchers for comparative as well as further study of yet unexplored areas.






1. Introduction :

i. The Historical Background to the Rise of Ajivikism

2. The Six Heretics :

i. The Record of the Samanna-phala Sutta

ii. Other Buddhist References to the Doctrines of the Heretics

3. Makkhali Gosala and his Predecessors :

i. Ajivika Leaders before Makkhali Gosala

ii. Nanda Vaccha and Kisa Sankicca

iii. The Immediate Predecessors of Makkhali Gosala

iv. Makkhali Gosala

v. Birth of Makkhali Gosala

vi. The Meeting of Gosala with Mahavira

vii. The Peregrinations of the Two Ascetics

viii. Gosala and the Sesamum Plant

ix. Gosala and Vesiyayana

x. Gosala Attains Magical Power and becomes the Leader of the Ajivikas

4. The Last Days of Makkhali Gosala :

i. The Six Disacaras

ii. Gosala is Exposed by Mahavlra

iii. Gosala Visits Mahavlra

iv. Gosala's Delirium

v. Ayampula Visits Gosala

vi. Gosala's Repentance and Death

vii. The Date of Gosala's Death

viii. The Name and Titles of Makkhali Gosala

5. Purana and Pakudha :

i. Purana Kassapa

ii. The Death of Purana

iii. Pakudha Kaccayana

6. The Early Ajivika Community (I) :

i. The Wandering Philosophers

ii. Etymology of the Term Ajivika

iii. The Ajivika Initiation

iv. Ajivika Nudity

v. Ajivika Asceticism

vi. The Ajivika Sabha

vii. Song and Dance

7. The Early Ajivika Community (II) :

i. Begging and Dietary Practices

ii. Accusations of Worldliness and Immorality

iii. The Final Penance

iv. Ajivika Laymen

v. Relations between Ajivikas and Buddhists

vi. Relations between Ajivikas and Jainas

8. Ajivikas in the Nanda and Maukya Periods :

i. Mahapadma

ii. Ajivikism in Maurya Times

iii. The Barabar and Nagarjuni Caves

9. Ajivikas in Later Times :

i. References in Sanskrit Literature

ii. Varahamihira and Utpala

iii. Silanka and the Trairasikas

iv. Nemicandra on the Ajivikas

v. Lexicographical References

vi. The Last References to Ajivikas

10. The Southern Ajivikas :

i. The Inscriptions

ii. Ajivikas in Tamil Literature

iii. Appendix to Part I - The Iconoclast Ascetics of Kashmir


11. Ajivika Scriptures :

i. The Mahanimittas, the Maggas, and the Onpatu-katir

ii. Pali and Prakrit Quotations

iii. Quotations by the Commentators

12. NIYATI :

i. Niyativada Dialectic

ii. The Development of the Niyati Doctrine

13. Ajivika Cosmology :

i. The Categories of the Samanna-phala Sutta

ii. The Eight Last Things

iii. The Six Inevitables

iv. Other Ajivika Categories

v. Mandala-moksa

14. Other Doctrines of the Ajivikas :

i. The Elements

ii. Ajivika Atomism in Relation to other Indian Atomic Doctrines

iii. The Soul

iv. The Gods

v. Ajivika Logic

vi. The Status of Makkhali Gosala

15. Conclusion :

i. Summary

ii. Dr. Barua's Three Questions

iii. The Influence of the Ajivikas

iv. The Place of the Ajivikas in Indian History